Thursday, January 15, 2009

"No greater danger to the cyclist than cyclist's own incompetence"

Anonymous wrote:
"...most cycling accidents are 'solo falls' that have nothing to do with other vehicles." Rob, did this delusory statement come to you in a vision, or do you have some reference to back this up? Seems like a rather dumb thing to believe, but I bet you have rarely ridden a bike as an adult. Many bike riders have excellent physical and mental coordination and do not injure themselves :-)

Rob replies:
Yes, I have citations to back up that statement. Knowledgeable bike people know that most cycling accidents don't involve other vehicles, but they don't like to talk about it, probably because it undermines their anti-car agenda.

The SFBC's favorite bike safety instructor, Bert Hill, tells us that 45% of all cycling accidents are "solo falls" and that only 18% involve another vehicle ("Mission: Not Impossible," Paul McHugh, Feb. 17, 2005, SF Chronicle).

And Robert Hurst, a lifelong bike guy and cycling advocate, in his book on urban cycling, "The Art of Cycling," (Falcon/Morris Book Publishing, 2007) tells us that collisions with vehicles "account for no more than about 15 percent of all cycling accidents." (page 161)

Hurst on the greatest danger facing cyclists:

"The most important lesson to be learned here is a bitter pill to swallow: There is no greater danger to the cyclist than the cyclist's own incompetence. As a whole, it turns out, cyclists are not an entirely smooth and skillful lot. The majority of cycling accidents are embarrassing solo incidents, with the cyclist sliding out on turns, stacking it up after ramming potholes, curbs, and other obstacles, or just generally losing control. Collisions with motor vehicles are potentially more damaging but account for no more than about 15 percent of all cycling accidents. About half of car-bike accidents are instigated by cyclists who ride into traffic without looking, ride on the wrong side of the street, blow lights and stop signs, or otherwise ride in an unpredictable and lawless manner." (emphasis in original)

Another source

And riding your bike too much endangers your sex life.

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